Sunday, December 13, 2009
December 13th, Marcel Hirscher of Austria, won yet another race this weekend in the Giant Slalom at Val D'Isere. This race concluded the stay at the home of Jean Claude Killy, one of skiings greatest racers of all time. Massimiliano Blardone of Italy took second, with Austrian Benjamin Raich third. It seems the American's ski tech forgot to wax his athletes skis... Ted Ligety 10th, Jake Zamansky 27th, Tim Jitloff 28th... 28 people finished the race. Proud to be an American. Tommy Ford and Bode Miller were a bit shaken after the prior days race so they did not start.
December 12th was the day for the World Cup SG at Val D'Isere, France. Michael Walchhofer of Austria tore apart the course beating out American Ted Ligety by .3 seconds for the victory. Werner Heel of Italy took an impressive third. Benny Raich of Austria seems to be coming alive after a couple years of unimpressive finishes compared to his 2006 season where seemed to win almost everything. Bode Finished 9th, tying Didier Cuche of Switzerland, about 1.75 seconds off Walchhofer. Tommy Ford, Jake Zamansky, Erik Fisher, Jeremy transue, Andrew Weibrecht, and Marco Sullivan, all from the US, did not finish. Carlo Janka decided he liked the netting as well and took a tumble himself.
December 11, the World Cup moved back into Europe to the country of France. This weekends races were kicked off with a Super Combined where Benny Raich of Austria took the crown, very young Marcel Hirscher also Austrian, was 2nd at just 20 years old, and Manfred Moelgg of Italy was 3rd. Bode Miller was 5th which is exceptional for him, he was once the best Slalom skier in the world, turned to Downhill, conquered it, and is now looking to combine the two. His limitation is that when he took up downhill, he gained 40 pounds so it is hard to move that extra muscle weight around in a Slalom course. As a downhill specialist it is odd that Andrew Weibrecht did not make it through the downhill course, whereas Ted Ligety did finish the downhill but did not finish the Slalom course... funny what skiing can do.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
As the rest of the US ski team is in quite a lull, I cannot say the same for Lindsay Vonn. This girl tore apart the competition in Lake Louise this past week. She won one of the two training runs, while Maria Holaus won the other two. What counts in the races, Lindsay Vonn won the first race by a staggering .5 seconds over Canadian, Emily Brydon. Maria Riesch, almost a full second off Vonns time. 20 year old, Alice McKennis, was 2nd for the US in 18th. Other US finishers were Stacey Cook, Chelsea Marshall, Leanne Smith and Laurenne Ross. 6 finishers for the womens side on the first day as opposed to 1 or 2 for the men. Once Again, the second day leader was Lindsay Vonn of the US. 1.7 seconds off Vonn was 20 year old Alice Mckennis on her way to her best season ever in 10th place. Stacey Cook was 11th right off Alice's mark by .01 seconds and Julia Mancuso just .09 off Stacey in 12th. Leanne Smith of North Conway, NH was 23rd, Chelsea Marshall of Pittsfield, VT was 25th. Laurenne Ross rounded up the US women in 34th. On the third day of racing at Lake Louise, Lindsay Vonn had another stellar race. She was edged out of first by Austrian Elizabeth Goergl by .03 seconds. Third place was Ingrid Jacquemod of France. As for the other Americans... all 8 finished once again with Keeley Kelleher in 20th, Chelsea Marshall 32nd, Alice Mckennis 38th, Leanne Smith 40th, Julia Mancuso 41st, and Stacey Cook 42nd.
Over the past week, a series of races were held at Beaver Creak, USA for mens World Cup skiing. I think I have acute induced depression over the results of another failing week on the mens side. As I am very grateful to announce that some US Men have skied exceptionally, I also have to add, my grandmother would beat our Mens team right now since she could at least make it down the course. I need to emphasize the good things that happened this week. One of the two Swiss men that I talked about earlier in this blog won the super combined event, which is a combination of a run of downhill and a run of slalom, Carlo Janka. I am happy to see a youngster, like Janka, winning all the races. Janka's teammate Didier Defago, different Didier than in previous posts, went one, two in the results of the combined. The only US finisher was Andrew Weibrecht in 19th, a very impressive result for the 24 year old superstar. The next race was a downhill where Carlo Janka, once again, captured the title with teammate Didier Cuche in 2nd. Third was Axel Lund Svindal, my personal favorite ski racer. Finally Bode Miller threw down and placed 4th. Congrats Bode. Andrew Weibrecht was 11th, Marco Sullivan 14th, Erik Fisher 25th. Steve Nyman and Jeremy transue finished as well but toward the back of the pack. Switching over to Giant Slalom for the last race, Carlo Janka took another victory! He is shaping up to have one of the most impressive seasons in history if he keeps this up much longer... not bad for a newby World Cup Racer. Benny Reich and Axel Lund Svindal were 2nd and 3rd. Ted Ligety was 4th. Jake Zamansky finished in 25th out of 27 to round off the impressive two man finish for the mens team.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Yesterday, December 1st was the first of the downhill training runs at the Lake Louise Speed Events. The outcome was okay for Americans, however the top three were, Maria Holaus of Austria, Elena Fanchini of Italy, and Nadia Styger of Switzerland. Americans put four in the top ten with Julia Mancuso in 5, Lindsay Vonn in 8, Stacey Cook in 9th, and Vermont native Chelsea Marshall in 10th. 22 year old, North Conway, NH native, Leanne Smith came in 32nd. Congrats to the four Americans in the top 10! Go get 'em Leanne!!! The next training run is taking place currently. The first race run is the 4th, followed by a second Downhill the 5th and then wrapping it up the 6th.
While the men were racing speed in Canada, the women had 2 races in Colorado at Aspen Resort. The first of the races was the GS on the 28th. Kathrin seems to be the name of the game on this day, with Kathrin Hoelzl of German and Kathrin Zettel of Austria taking first and second a ways ahead of the rest of the field. The first American was Julia Mancuso in 13th. A name we have heard for many years and previously this season, Sarah Schelper, was 23rd. As for the SL event, Czech Republic skier Sarka Zahrobska took first, Marlies Schild of Austria was 2nd, and Kathrin Zettel was 3rd. No Americans finished on their home turf in the SL.